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[GreenYes] Petition Opposes the Landfilling of CCA treated wood
Petition Opposes Landfilling of Arsenic Treated Wood 
WASHINGTON, DC, July 22, 2002 (ENS) - Beyond Pesticides petitioned the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today to stop the disposal of billions
of board feet of arsenic treated wood with ordinary community waste. 
More than 138 million pounds of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) are used
each year to treat about 5.4 billion board feet of lumber, timbers, utility
poles and other products, according to recent industry figures. 
The national environmental and public health group wants the EPA to require
that the treated wood be sent to hazardous waste landfills. Beyond
Pesticides told the EPA that the waste should be disposed in lined landfills
to prevent leaching of arsenic. 
"The disposal of arsenic treated wood with ordinary community waste, allowed
under the current exclusion from hazardous waste regulation, constitutes an
warranted public health and environmental threat and is in violation of the
agency's standards," said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond
Pesticides. 
The petition, filed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA),
cites the failure of EPA to regulate arsenic in accordance with its own
hazardous waste regulations. The wood fails the EPA's Toxicity
Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP), intended to simulate conditions in
a landfill. 
The petition urges the agency to reverse a 22 year old exemption for arsenic
treated wood and wood products that was issued as a temporary exclusion. 
"The rule was promulgated in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act's
notice and comment requirements," the petition states. "Even assuming that
the rule was valid for a short term temporary exemption from RCRA, it
certainly cannot legally support the permanent exemption from RCRA
regulation is has become." 
The EPA entered into an agreement with the manufacturers of arsenic treated
wood on February 12 that began a two year phase out of some uses of the
treated wood. Beyond Pesticides and more than a dozen other organizations
have also petitioned to ban all the heavy duty wood preservatives, filing a
formal petition in December 2001 to ban CCA and pentachlorophenol, and
filing another petition to ban creosote in February 2002. 
The groups maintain that the hazards of continued use are too great and
safer alternative products and materials are now available. 
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